12. Screenprinting Artwork In AI: Reversing Line Art For White On Black

hello and welcome to another educational video about screen printing by cats pip productions today I just wanted to try to show you a little bit about the concept of how to create the proper line artwork you know spot color artwork line art for printing white ink on black t-shirts because a lot of the time people don't consider what's exactly going on when we print white ink when we take a piece of positive line art like this winged object here with the little engine in it okay and we make a film positive like this it comes out just like this on a clear piece of film and then we burn a screen it actually goes from a positive to a negative okay and then when we print it in a dark ink on a light t-shirt it becomes a positive again but if you were to take the same screen and print white ink on a black shirt you would have what we see up here which is actually a negative it's kind of a negative of this positive piece of film okay so what do you do in order to correct that and you know it's very simple actually it should be and this can depend on the complexity of the piece of artwork you have once in a while when you have a bunch of grouped objects that are very complex when you do this little trick it it can cause some problems but here's the principle let's back up okay the idea is that in order to make this positive here a positive on the black t-shirt we actually need to reverse the artwork we want it to look more like this okay here's the whole kind of concept artwork you saw this in a very older video of mine where we did I think we printed this Cup in a couple videos actually and then there was another garry's video where we did a two color but in order to make this positive line art which you'll get like most often this is what you would have gotten okay a positive piece of line art okay this is fine we print this on black ink on a white shirt red ink on a light-colored shirt any kind of dark ink on a light-colored shirt this would be fine we don't have to do anything to it we're gonna make a film positive the screen becomes a negative and we when we print with dark ink on a light-colored garment what do we then create a positive again okay so what we're gonna do is we're gonna actually take this piece of art and reverse it so that and here I'm just gonna point out don't make don't pay attention to what I'm doing here to show you you know because in Illustrator it's a little bit different in other words I'm gonna do this you can see that's the piece of artwork we wanted and you're saying well hey if you printed that and white and put it over here then how come butter well that's because an illustrator this is set up differently to show you the principle okay whoops there we go other squares there's two squares there okay so now when you take this piece of artwork which is a negative and print it in white ink on a black shirt we're gonna get this you see that's much different you see the difference okay so this is still looking like a positive because the lineart the engine is drawn in black right but here the engine is drawn in white so it looks like a negative the lines that create the whole wings are in white so it looks like a negative okay but when we do it like this it looks like a positive so it's a very simple procedure and this is what you would want it to look like to print on a black t-shirt in white ink or a light colored ink okay now how do you how do you reverse it so what we're gonna do there versus we go up to the edit okay and you just go down to edit colors oops you got to have something selected okay edit edit colors oops edit colors and invert look I see all right but that's that's why I'm saying don't pay attention what's happening in Illustrator here just it gets a little confusing but the hold idea is so we have to start if we want if we're gonna print in a light colored ink on a dark t-shirt we actually start with a negative in our artwork when we create the screen it's a positive and then when we print white ink on a black shirt it's creating a negative print but because the lines are coming through it's it's it's actually a positive print on the t-shirt okay hopefully that makes sense okay so you'll end up you'll you'll start with you know a positive piece of artwork so we get a positive line art here we want to print this on black t-shirts in white ink go up to edit edit colors invert colors BAM now it's ready for white ink on black t-shirts okay hopefully that makes sense maybe this will make a little bit more sense as well okay so there's the two pieces of film or two pieces of artwork this one here is for white ink on black t-shirts okay and this one here is for a dark ink black ink on white t-shirts ideally okay but it's it could be any dark ink it could be navy ink on a grey shirt as long as it's printing a dark ink on a lighter color this will look fine okay so here you go here's the skulls alright remember we did the sweatpants video just a week ago or whatever it was okay we have we had a light gray ink printing on a black sweat pan and we want it to look like this we want the eyeballs and everything to be black so in order to do that we actually have to reverse the image out okay because if we don't here's the original piece of artwork right here but as you know if we create a film positive with this it's gonna make a positive just like this but what happens when you print it on white it's gonna look like this because you're printing you're printing the eyeballs see these black parts in here you're gonna be printing that in white ink and now the line of the skull is white ink and the inside of the skull is black it'll look like this one okay so we have to prevent that we don't want that we don't we don't want that so again we invert the color because we don't want a print like this on a black t-shirt see you see what I'm talking about if we took this positive and print it in white ink on a black t-shirt this is exactly what you're gonna get and as you can see it looks like a negative okay so in order to prevent that we choose this object edit edit colors invert colors and there you go there it is okay so now it's a negative but when we go to screen it becomes a positive and then as we print it in white ink it's it's a negative but as the white ink lays on the black shirt it then becomes a positive okay I hope that makes sense it's a little bit tricky but basically I think you can get the point like this in other words it's very simple if you're if you're familiar with film positives and printing in positive and making a screen as normal you can see it right here with these two how if we use this as a film positive we're gonna end up with this which is a negative okay so in order to prevent that we invert okay all right so I hope that makes sense right and perhaps we'll actually make a screen one of these days and show this in the actual printing where we'll print you know we can print this we can take this regular art the regular screen that we have or the regular yeah regular art and make a screen normally for black ink on white and I'll print it and white ink on a black shirt and maybe we'll see what it looks like maybe that'll help you understand the concept okay but that's the idea okay whenever you get a positive piece of line art that you're gonna print in white ink on black t-shirts you're gonna want to invert it so it looks like this okay if you have any questions about it just ask me in the comments below or message me on youtube and feel free to visit cat spit Productions LLC calm or cat spit screen print supply.com and you can message me through those websites as well and ask questions and I'm happy to help out thanks a lot for watching today if you like what you see please rate thumbs up comment below and subscribe

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. I’m trying to get into screen printing. Slowly buying pieces to be able to do it. The designing is one thing I’m trying to learn a lot on, as I don’t have much experience with it. Just found your channel yesterday and have been watching loads of your videos! All of them have been very helpful and explained amazingly! New subscriber here!

  2. Like all those little intricate parts of the motor inside the circle how did you get all of the black lining to be nice and sharp and clear so when you burn an image there is no distortion

  3. How are you doing buddy I love your videos I am a big supporter. If you have time to answer my question my problem is so I get an image off the Internet but it's never crisp and clean. Go away I go in and clean up in image takes forever I literally will take the marker icon and go in and color all of the black areas of an image make sure all the edges are nice and all the pixels are filled in so it is crisp and clean. Then I will take the eraser option and go around and clean up all the edges of everything and it just takes forever is there a way to make in image nice in crisp and all of the colors nice and bold. I've tried the unsharpened mask option I've tried the sharpen option I have tried re sizing in doing more dots per square inch and none of that shit works worth a dam

  4. I am working with a black vector print and need to make it white on black t-shirt. How do I make it white print for DTG printing?

  5. I am having trouble with this. I invert it turns all the black white so it won't print to the negative. Very confusing for me

  6. how are you clicking on just the image all my images have a box or background to it and it doesn't invert right how do you do that

  7. I am new to editing for the positives, how can i remove the original outline of the image i reversed? You know cause if you invert it, it will become a one whole black with the design inside of it, how can i get the design only out of it?mthank you sir

  8. What if I was to use a white underbase for the whole art work on just keep the one screen for printing on white shirts?wouls that work?

  9. for complicated line art that doesn't cooperate with this method I just do an offset path of .05 of the whole line work and merge/unite with white fill. make two layers, select white fill and place underneath, Select black line work paste in front on another layer then go to pathfinder and alt-click minus front and expand. this will leave a white outline around all the artwork. works great for tattoo style artwork.

    If you are unsure if you need to invert colors or not just do a simple mock-up. make a layer of what the shirt color will be and select your artwork and change colors to see what looks best.

    on white or light shirts, black outlines look good.
    on black and dark shirts white outlines don't look so good, so the idea is to invert it so you're left with a white fill and the dark color of the shirt will make out the outlines.

  10. You were talking about complex line art.. So how to prepare the black/white logo for print ?
    I know that everything has to be merged and clear and no color over colour.. Is that true?

  11. Good video Jonathan. The principles you explain came easy, but trying to get a customer who wants dark shirts with white ink on the same page can be challenging. Art looks awesome!

  12. how does one create artwork with halftones, that will benefit from rip software–  how are the subtle shadows or gradients made in gimp or inkscape?

  13. Why not just show a finished white shirt and a finished black shirt? That way the printed portion should be obvious. Then show how the Illustrator art has to change to produce those results. The current explanation requires too much visualization for me.

    I have a lot of experience with vector art but I am used to white/light substrates and film negatives.

    It seems like what you're trying to say is important but it's still fuzzy to me.

  14. Did anyone miss this very late #screenprinting   #video  upload? I tried to explain the inversion concept for printing white ink on black garments. Not sure how well I did that…. LOL 😉

  15. An easier way to explain it is, when printing on dark shirts you need to invert the artwork. In Photoshop, Image/Mode/Invert. Hope that helps someone. Thanks Jon for the great job.

  16. Okay so I was trying to have this video ready for this morning. But Mondays are crazy and I was very busy. Because of the upcoming Christmas Holiday I decided to upload anyway to stay on schedule. This video is supposed to explain the difference between reversing artwork from white ink on black tee shirts as opposed to not. I already confused 1 person so we may have to do a follow up with some printing to elaborate. But if you need to print line art in white in on dark tee shirts then you’ll want to watch this video.


  17. Very good information I wanted to ask that but thank you for the good educational video my friend greetings from Chicago